Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Summer of Letting Go

Yes, home schoolers do celebrate graduations! And we had a beautiful evening Friday in downtown Phoenix at part of the new Convention Center. There were some amazingly talented kids that performed. Hello, Rachmaninov, Debussy on piano and violin, just to mention a few. A girl did sign language to that beautiful Mark Harris song, Give them Wings to Fly which talks about us giving them roots and helping them find their wings. That's when my tears came. I know she is just starting high school, but the process of letting go is a gradual one, and I'm feeling the pull.

Lord, help us prepare her for what is ahead, and give us Your wisdom and grace that we will need to prepare us.

Another year of encouragement and challenge, as we spent 2 days at the Annual Home School Convention. Again I am reminded how the world's goals are not God's for our children. The chief end of man being to GLORIFY GOD and enjoy Him forever. The world is preparing their children for a good, well-paying job, status. Security in things of the world. Accomplishing all they can, being the best in all they do, so that they can be secure in their future. What pressure! But God sees the heart. Pleasing God in all they do will reap a lifetime of success, but maybe not as the world knows.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What a Beauty

I can't believe it's been a week, with no word from the Mexico kids. So strange! But God is good and saw us through. I know He did the same on her end. But I can't wait to see my beautiful girl Tuesday evening!

This is my favorite beach picture of her last October.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11-17, Alex in Mexico

Today I had to let go a little, and will have to keep letting go all week. Alex and 7 girls, 7 boys, all 14 years old, 5 men and 2 women, drove to Imuris, Mexico. It's 40 miles straight south of Nogales. Scottsdale Bible partnered with Partners in Christ to do a mission trip at a church there. The guys will help with construction of a wall and the girls will be painting a nursery. They sleep in a large room at a camp facility, air conditioned! The girls have to wear long jeans or skirts and the boys can't wear baggy jeans because of gang affiliations. They will also help with a VBS there, singing songs with the kids in Spanish, playing games, doing crafts and a few nights they spend with other kids their age. They all prepared a testimony to share if they felt led to.

I am grateful for the many mission opportunities we have at our church. I was so glad Alex felt led to go on this trip. Many thanks to the family and friends who sponsored her financially and the many who are praying for them. She was really humbled by that. It also provided our family with the opportunity to come around her and pray for her in a new way. That is probably my favorite part.
Here's my verse to cling to this week: Phil 4:6-8
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (and yeah...) the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." and I will try to dwell on good thoughts.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

My Firecracker Baby turns 12!!

4th of July, 1995 was the birth of a big boy, my second child. It was terrific, if you can say that about births. No drugs, quick, and yes, painful, but wonderful. He has been such a delight. Always happy, always challenging me and always thinking and questioning. God has truly blessed us and the world will be blessed too, that's my prayer anyway.Papa and Nana Tuten with the kids

Tutens, Shepherds and Hamlins all joined us for the 4th/Dexter's Birthday. Swimming, BBQing, eating and talking. I didn't want them to leave. We miss having the Rays! Hope CA is relaxing and fun!
Papa Shep and Dex

Nana Shep and Lizzy
Anissa and Elliana

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Next Generation

Kim Larson (SBC's night worship leader with Sean Johnson) and her daughter Annaleise(both are amazing vocalists). Alex is on the left.Cool shades huh? It was pretty warm.
What an amazing week we had at the Saddleback Worship Conference. I expected nothing less. But I got even more. The variety of music and teaching was astounding. I never thought I could overload on music. It was powerful.We were hearing songs performed by the artists who wrote them!
I think Kay Warren (wife of Rick Warren) surprised and challenged me the most. She is on fire! To be a disciple of Christ, she challenged that we must be "dangerously' surrendered, "seriously" disturbed and "gloriously" ruined. The one I really clicked into was being "gloriously" ruined. In the sense that, once your mind is set on Christ and the things He has, all other worldly things pale. They don't matter any more. They don't hold the satisfaction they once did. Praise God! I want that!! We need to HATE evil as God does. It should sicken us when we see it in the world.
Thank you so much for praying for us. Alex and I had such a sweet time. I hold her lightly in my hand, not knowing what God has called her to. But that all things are seeds planted. I pray for fertile soil in her heart and good seeds. I'm thankful for those speaking into her life like those who went to the conference with us. They made her feel so welcome and comfortable. But also challenged her and asked her questions about what she was experiencing. I'm praying for the next generation of worship leaders in our church body. How can I help train them? What am I modeling for them in my life? Actually, we are all worship leaders. If worship is a lifestyle, then we are giving Him worship every day, in all we do and say.
May you keep your eyes on Him this week, giving yourself as an offering, a living sacrifice.